Our Economy

Our plan for revitalising the economy is based on providing regionally balanced investment in infrastructure, job creation and young workers.

The Northern Ireland economy can only grow and develop if it generates more employment and focuses on securing better paid jobs. A healthy suplly of jobs enhances society by alleviating poverty and making sure that as many people as possible have the dignity of work. Generating jobs will also stem the flow of our young people emigrating in pursuit of a better economic future. 

While all job investment is welcome, FDI call-centre projects, for example, do not develop high productivity sectors in our workforce and ultimately compete internationally on price. We need to raise skill levels to attract the more lucrative FDI investments in the Information and Communications Technology sector and other professional services. Investments in these sectors create well paid employment for software engineers, lawyers, creative design professionals as well as administrative staff. 

The SDLP will provide additional focused support for third-level students and refocus existing skills provision to ensure we better meet the future needs of a modern fast moving economy.

We recognise, however, that further education is not the only route available in delivering a high skilled, high wage economy. We believe that the development of skills through quality apprenticeships is essential to improving the economy, stimulating work and delivering new success in Northern Ireland. 

Every modern, open economy must prioritise investment in its most competitive assets by channelling resources to those sectors where it is in the best position to compete internationally while generating wealth domestically. The SDLP will continue to support our traditional primary, manufacturing and services sectors while prioritising new sectors where we see potential for growth and export.

In Northern Ireland our priority sectors include agri- food, tourism and ICT. In these sectors we have developed a degree of competitive advantage. 

We have a new strategy for growth than can rebuild and revitalise our economy. 

McLaughlin welcomes apprenticeship announcement

SDLP economy spokesperson Sinead McLaughlin has welcomed the announcement by economy minister Diane Dodds of £17.2m for apprenticeships.
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Bradley welcomes commitment to Narrow Water Bridge in PfG

SDLP South Down MLA Sinead Bradley has welcomed a commitment to Narrow Water Bridge contained in the proposed Programme for Government produced as a result of government formation talks in Dublin.
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Belfast City Council to establish Climate Crisis Committee

Belfast City Council is to establish a committee to examine its contribution to the climate crisis and work to mitigate the impact of climate breakdown on the city’s citizens, communities and economy.
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Bradley: Minister’s visit to Dusseldorf is a ‘Dusseldud’

SDLP Economy Spokesperson Sinead Bradley MLA has asked why the Economy Minister spent two days visiting Germany and apparently did not raise Brexit.
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SDLP propose increase in pre-school childcare

SDLP MLAs Claire Hanna and Nichola Mallon today proposed an increase in the basic free allowance of pre-school childcare from 12.5 hours per week to 20 hours.
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Government’s economic strategy is faltering

The Northern Ireland Government’s flawed economic strategy of travelling the world promising tax breaks for big businesses while cutting domestic investment in skills, students and university courses is faltering as new figures show a dramatic decline in FDI projects.
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Durkan continues fight for Derry ‘City Deal’ at Westminster

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has continued his lobby for a ‘City Deal’ for Derry which would help to rebalance the economy and address the high levels of unemployment and deprivation in the North West.
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Threat of Brexit squeezing North’s economy

The threat of withdrawal from the European Union is having a real terms effect on the North’s fragile economy according to SDLP Economy Spokesperson Patsy McGlone MLA.
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McGlone calls on Invest NI to address concerns over sponsorship of pro-Brexit event

The SDLP Economy spokesperson and former DETI chair Patsy McGlone has criticised Invest NI after it was revealed it had sponsored a pro-Brexit event in London, at which a prominent supporter of the Vote Leave campaign was the sole speaker.
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